Home » Distractions from My Angst » Misty Colored Flannel Memories

Misty Colored Flannel Memories

Help, I’m embracing nostalgia.

I made a promise to myself in my shallow teens that I’d never be one of those adults who were stuck in their favorite decade. It seemed like such an insidious way to date yourself. The women with blue eyeshadow and huge bangs.  Men wearing leisure suits and questionable haircuts. Glancing at these specimens, you could say “oh yeah, they peaked in 1984” or whatever happened to be their year of choice. It seemed lazy to my younger self. Why wouldn’t you want new music, new fashion?

Two things have happened to make me lose some of my interest in the new, new, new. The most obvious is of course the fact that I am growing older. I’ll be thirty this year, and while I am exponentially happier and hotter than I was in my teens, I nevertheless am beginning to look backwards for comfort. I bought a flannel shirt the other day – real flannel, none of this “sexy lumberjack” bullshit you sometimes see.  I plan on wearing it with jeans and Docs and my dark lipstick. I was never truly grunge, you see – I was too young – but I rocked the post-grunge gothy “The Craft” look very well. The second thing to have happened is somewhat unique to my situation – I lost about 40% of my wardrobe when the house burned down. Thankfully the largest chunk of my belongings were in Florida, but all my photos, books, furniture, keepsakes, and knick-knacks that I couldn’t cram into my tiny apartment were left in storage in Alabama.  It’s all gone.

And that was the easiest part about the fire. You’d think that it wouldn’t be, that the loss of possessions would ache like a tooth needing to be pulled.  And it’s tough, sure, but to be honest, we knew from the beginning that we were fortunate. My parents and brother got out.  The smoke detectors only started going off once the roof collapsed.  Had my family been asleep…

So I suddenly have a chunk of STUFF to replace. Some, I’ll never get back – my yearbooks, which hurt. I had so many great messages and signatures from friends that I’ll likely not see again.  I’m sad about my old paintings going up in flames, even if they weren’t that good. And I’m REALLY PISSED to have lost my Playstation. Sure, it was old, and I hadn’t played it in a few years, but I was planning on setting up a station to keep my Wii and Playstation together. And I never did beat Final Fantasy VIII.

But that’s all minor.  I know it.  My interest in purchasing the latest fashions and music has suffered for it.  I don’t know if I just don’t want to compile “new” because I’m subconsciously afraid of losing it, or if I’m beginning to plateau. There is nothing that makes me smile like turning my internet radio to the Red Hot Chili Peppers. And I didn’t even like the Red Hot Chili Peppers that much in school!

But when I hear those familiar guitar lines, I’m back in my car, driving through the mountains, sixteen and judgmental and terrified and half-tamed, and nostalgia is a welcome, if temporary distraction.

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8 thoughts on “Misty Colored Flannel Memories

    • You’re not wrong – with time comes knowing what hue red lipstick to grab, and that I will never ever look good in capri pants even if I was stretched three inches via a medieval torture device. At least I won’t make the same mistakes twice!

    • You know, it might be about feeling safe! I hadn’t thought of it that way. But I think my family is reaching for things that are comforting and familiar these days to counteract the stress of rebuilding and whatnot… it would certainly explain the glut of emotional eating and the subsequent ten pounds worth of doughnuts on my butt I’ve acquired since the fire… :p

      • It really was. My parents had lived in the home for 33 years, and literally lost everything but a laptop, the cars, and the clothes they had on (my mother wore a pair of house shoes for four days before I bought her some new shoes). You don’t really understand the value (or lack thereof) of having so much STUFF until you lose it all.

  1. first, fire sucks. of course we define ourselves by all the things we had and have and want soon, so it’s like losing ourselves. but the plus side is that this was very well-written, and you can’t lose that skill in a fire.

    • That’s an insightful way of thinking about it – that we lost more than objects. We lost dialogues with those objects, our stories, our intentions, how we relate to them. Thank you for the compliment re: my writing – and I suppose now I at least have something to write about! Yay?

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